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Nicaragua (2002)

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Nicaragua 2002 year

Administrative divisions 15 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 2 autonomous regions* (regiones autonomistas, singular - region autonomista); Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas, Atlantico Norte*, Atlantico Sur*
Age structure 0-14 years: 38.3% (male 980,621; female 945,386)

15-64 years: 58.7% (male 1,464,468; female 1,483,082)

65 years and over: 3% (male 65,610; female 84,651) (2002 est.)
Agriculture - products coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, rice, corn, tobacco, sesame, soya, beans; beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products
Airports 182 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways total: 11

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 165

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 23

under 914 m: 141 (2002)
Area total: 129,494 sq km

land: 120,254 sq km

water: 9,240 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than the state of New York
Background The Pacific Coast of Nicaragua was settled as a Spanish colony from Panama in the early 16th century. Independence from Spain was declared in 1821 and the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades. Violent opposition to governmental manipulation and corruption spread to all classes by 1978 and resulted in a short-lived civil war that brought the Marxist Sandinista guerrillas to power in 1979. Nicaraguan aid to leftist rebels in El Salvador caused the US to sponsor anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through much of the 1980s. Free elections in 1990, 1996, and again in 2001 saw the Sandinistas defeated. The country has slowly rebuilt its economy during the 1990s, but was hard hit by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
Birth rate 26.98 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Budget revenues: $726 million

expenditures: $908 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Capital Managua
Climate tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands
Coastline 910 km
Constitution 9 January 1987, with reforms in 1995 and 2000
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Nicaragua

conventional short form: Nicaragua

local long form: Republica de Nicaragua

local short form: Nicaragua
Currency gold cordoba (NIO)
Death rate 4.76 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Debt - external $6.1 billion (2001 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Barbara Calandra MOORE

embassy: Apartado Postal 327, Kilometer 4.5 Carretera Sur, Managua

mailing address: APO AA 34021

telephone: [505] 268-0123

FAX: [505] 266-9943
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Carlos J. ULVERT

chancery: 1627 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 939-6570

FAX: [1] (202) 939-6542

consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York
Disputes - international territorial disputes with Colombia over the Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank; with respect to the maritime boundary question in the Golfo de Fonseca, the ICJ referred to the line determined by the 1900 Honduras-Nicaragua Mixed Boundary Commission and advised that some tripartite resolution among El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua likely would be required; legal dispute over navigational rights of San Juan River on border with Costa Rica
Economic aid - recipient NA
Economy - overview Nicaragua, one of the hemisphere's poorest countries, faces low per capita income, flagging socio-economic indicators, and huge external debt. Distribution of income is extremely unequal. While the country has made progress toward macroeconomic stabilization over the past few years, a banking crisis and scandal has shaken the economy. Managua will continue to be dependent on international aid and debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Donors have made aid conditional on improving governability, the openness of government financial operation, poverty alleviation, and human rights. Nicaragua met the conditions for additional debt service relief in December 2000. Growth should move up in 2002 because of increased private investment and recovery in the global economy.
Electricity - consumption 2.176 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 1 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 100 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production 2.233 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 82%

hydro: 9%

nuclear: 0%

other: 9% (2000)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mogoton 2,438 m
Environment - current issues deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Ethnic groups mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%
Exchange rates gold cordobas per US dollar - 13.88 (January 2002), 13.37 (2001), 12.69 (2000), 11.81 (1999), 10.58 (1998), 9.45 (1997)
Executive branch chief of state: President Enrique BOLANOS Geyer (since 10 January 2002); Vice President Jose RIZO Castellon (since 10 January 2002); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Enrique BOLANOS Geyer (since 10 January 2002); Vice President Jose RIZO Castellon (since 10 January 2002); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 4 November 2001 (next to be held by November 2006)

election results: Enrique BOLANOS Geyer (PLC) elected president - 56.3%, Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (FSLN) 42.3%, Alberto SABORIO (PC) 1.4%; Jose RIZO Castellon elected vice president
Exports 1 million kWh (2000)
Exports $609.5 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities coffee, shrimp and lobster, cotton, tobacco, beef, sugar, bananas; gold
Exports - partners US 57.7%, Germany 5.3%, Canada 4.2%, Costa Rica 3.3%, Honduras 3% (2000)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with the national coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on the top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom; similar to the flag of El Salvador, which features a round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Honduras, which has five blue stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band
GDP purchasing power parity - $12.3 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 33%

industry: 23%

services: 44% (2000) (2000)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $2,500 (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.5% (2001 est.)
Geographic coordinates 13 00 N, 85 00 W
Geography - note largest country in Central America; contains the largest freshwater body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua
Highways total: 16,382 km

paved: 1,818 km

unpaved: 14,564 km (1998)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1%

highest 10%: 49% (1998) (1998)
Illicit drugs transshipment point for cocaine destined for the US and transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing
Imports 100 million kWh (2000)
Imports $1.6 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products, consumer goods
Imports - partners US 23.9%, Costa Rica 11.4%, Venezuela 9.9%, Guatemala 7.9%, Mexico 5.9% (2000)
Independence 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 4.4% (2000 est.)
Industries food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, textiles, clothing, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood
Infant mortality rate 32.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 7.4% (2001 est.)
International organization participation BCIE, CACM, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 3 (2000)
Irrigated land 880 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (16 judges elected for five-year terms by the National Assembly)
Labor force 1.7 million (1999) (1999)
Labor force - by occupation services 43%, agriculture 42%, industry 15% (1999 est.)
Land boundaries total: 1,231 km

border countries: Costa Rica 309 km, Honduras 922 km
Land use arable land: 20.24%

permanent crops: 2.38%

other: 77.38% (1998 est.)
Languages Spanish (official)

note: English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast
Legal system civil law system; Supreme Court may review administrative acts
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (93 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 4 November 2001 (next to be held by November 2006)

election results: percent of vote by party - Liberal Alliance (ruling party - includes PLC, PALI, PLIUN, and PUCA) 46.03%, FSLN 36.55%, PCCN 3.73%, PCN 2.12%, MRS 1.33%; seats by party - Liberal Alliance 42, FSLN 36, PCCN 4, PCN 3, PRONAL 2, MRS 1, PRN 1, PC 1, PLI 1, AU 1, UNO-96 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 69.37 years

male: 67.39 years

female: 71.44 years (2002 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 68.2% (1999)

male: 67.1%

female: 70.5% (2000 est.)
Location Middle America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims continental shelf: natural prolongation

territorial sea: 200 NM
Merchant marine none (2002 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $26 million (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.2% (FY98)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 1,308,430 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 802,779 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 58,232 (2002 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Nationality noun: Nicaraguan(s)

adjective: Nicaraguan
Natural hazards destructive earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
Natural resources gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish
Net migration rate -1.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 56 km
Political parties and leaders Conservative Party of Nicaragua or PCN [Dr. Fernando AGUERO Rocha]; Independent Liberal Party or PLI [Virgilio GODOY]; Liberal Alliance (ruling alliance including Liberal Constitutional Party or PLC, New Liberal Party or PALI, Independent Liberal Party for National Unity or PLIUN, and Central American Unionist Party or PUCA) [leader NA]; National Conservative Party or PC [Pedro SOLARZANO, Noel VIDAURRE]; National Project or PRONAL [Benjamin LANZAS]; Nicaraguan Party of the Christian Path or PCCN [Guillermo OSORNO, Roberto RODRIGUEZ]; Nicaraguan Resistance Party or PRN [Salvador TALAVERA]; Sandinista National Liberation Front or FSLN [Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra]; Sandinista Renovation Movement or MRS [Sergio RAMIREZ]; Unity Alliance or AU [Alejandro SERRANO]; Union Nacional Opositora 96 or UNO-96 [Alfredo CESAR Aguirre]
Political pressure groups and leaders National Workers Front or FNT is a Sandinista umbrella group of eight labor unions including - Farm Workers Association or ATC, Health Workers Federation or FETASALUD, Heroes and Martyrs Confederation of Professional Associations or CONAPRO, National Association of Educators of Nicaragua or ANDEN, National Union of Employees or UNE, National Union of Farmers and Ranchers or UNAG, Sandinista Workers Central or CST, and Union of Journalists of Nicaragua or UPN; Permanent Congress of Workers or CPT is an umbrella group of four non-Sandinista labor unions including - Autonomous Nicaraguan Workers Central or CTN-A, Confederation of Labor Unification or CUS, Independent General Confederation of Labor or CGT-I, and Labor Action and Unity Central or CAUS; Nicaraguan Workers' Central or CTN is an independent labor union; Superior Council of Private Enterprise or COSEP is a confederation of business groups
Population 5,023,818 (July 2002 est.)
Population below poverty line 50% (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 2.09% (2002 est.)
Ports and harbors Bluefields, Corinto, El Bluff, Puerto Cabezas, Puerto Sandino, Rama, San Juan del Sur
Radio broadcast stations AM 63, FM 32, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios 1.24 million (1997)
Railways total: 6 km

narrow gauge: 6 km 1.067-m gauge

note: carries mostly passengers from Chichigalpa to Ingenio San Antonio (2001)
Religions Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Suffrage 16 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: inadequate system being upgraded by foreign investment

domestic: low-capacity microwave radio relay and wire system being expanded; connected to Central American Microwave System

international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region) and 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 140,000 (1996)
Telephones - mobile cellular 7,911 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 3 (plus seven low-power repeaters) (1997)
Terrain extensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes
Total fertility rate 3.09 children born/woman (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate 23% plus considerable underemployment (2001 est.)
Waterways 2,220 km (including 2 large lakes)
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